As we head up to the federal vote, a little more than a week away, it's important that we are thinking beyond individual issues being presented as campaign planks by the candidates running for us.
It's important that we as voters ask ourselves bigger questions, like what kind of government do I want, what attitude do I want the government to have, and how will that shape the world in which I live?
Do I want a government that views our world as one we should fear?
Or is this a world we should learn from, coexist in, and take every effort to improve?
Unfortunately, the incumbent Prime Minister has spoken a lot about issues that ultimately don't stem from a desire to do those things.
What Stephen Harper is proposing is to identify various boogeymen, and protect you from them.
Things you apparently should be afraid of, like women who wear coverings over their faces, or people who take part in so-called barbaric cultural practices.
He's even going to set up a hotline, so you and I can indulge in our inner tattle-tales.
Harper is telling us to fear marijuana, which could be legalized and taxed if one of his opponents is the next prime minister.
He says it's infinitely worse than tobacco, a position simply not supported by credible research.
And Harper is also talking about how we should fear what his opponents would do to the economy, while at the same time saying what he did with the economy was not his fault, and could be blamed on the world as a whole.
The world is out to get us, it should be feared.
That's no way for a person to live, and it's no way for a democratically-elected government to rule.
And frankly, it doesn't represent the kind of conservatism that champions individual freedoms and access to opportunity.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself?
Perhaps - because a government should be inspiring it's citizens, not scaring them.
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